The Goods on Good Sleep Hygiene

Most of us have the occasional night of inconsistent sleep. There are times we may toss and turn because of stress or because of something we ate. The occasional bout of insomnia is normal and nothing to worry about, yet, when we go a few days without good sleep, we may find it impacting other areas of our lives as well. 

What is a sleep disorder?

Sleep disorders are common and impact anywhere from 50 to 70 million Americans annually. With over 100 sleep disorders, some of the more common disorders are insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and restless leg syndrome (RLS). A disorder could be acute, lasting less than a few weeks, or chronic and occur about three nights a week for over three months. The list below can help you know if what you are experiencing is a brief occurrence or a sleep disorder that warrants a visit to a doctor:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness 
  • Irregular breathing or increased movement during sleep 
  • Irregular sleep and wake cycle
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Difficulty staying asleep 

The term sleep disorder is used as an overarching definition for any condition where the quality, timing, or duration of sleep impacts a person’s ability to perform during their awake hours. A sleep study is often used for a proper diagnosis and to determine a course of treatment.

What’s the Big Deal about Losing a Few Hours of Sleep?

As stated, losing sleep occasionally is nothing out of the ordinary and usually isn’t cause for much concern. Yet, there is such a thing as sleep deprivation or sleep deficiency. Not having enough sleep occurs when:

  • You don’t get enough quality hours of sleep
  • You sleep at the wrong time of day, meaning you’re out of step with your body’s natural clock, AKA your circadian rhythm
  • You don’t sleep well or get the different types of sleep that your body needs such as rapid eye movement (REM), non-REM, drowsiness, light sleep, and deep sleep
  • You have a sleep disorder preventing you from getting quality sleep

Many think that we get used to operating on less sleep over time as if it is a learned skill. However, what we’ve found is that being sleep-deprived can lead to problems in different areas of our lives. Whether it’s difficulty focusing or performing at school or work, a lack of quality sleep can impact our ability to make decisions, remember tasks or events, as well as manage our emotions. A sleepy child often shows signs of sleep deficiency by being very active, angry, impulsive, and unable to pay attention.

Certain medical conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, heart conditions, blindness, and diabetes have been linked to increasing the risk for sleep disorders. There are medications that interfere with our ability to get enough sleep as well. There are also life stressors, mental health concerns, and changes in work shifts or requirements in home life that can negatively impact our circadian rhythm, thus leading to sleep deprivation.

So, what is Good Sleep Hygiene?

Sleep hygiene may not be a term with which you are familiar. It simply means good sleep habits. Generally, it is thought that adults need between 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night. It is believed that this is enough time for the body to enter each sleep cycle stage so we can operate at our best the following day. 

Here are some habits that can improve your sleep hygiene:

  • Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including weekends for consistency.
  • Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature. Think cool.
  • Remove TVs, computers, and smartphones from the bedroom to decrease the temptation to turn to a device when you could be sleeping.
  • Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol right before going to bed.
  • Engage in a structured time of physical activity during your awake hours to help you fall asleep more easily.
  • If able, opt for a quality mattress and bedding to increase your comfortability.

Call Desert Oasis Clinic Today!

Sleep is essential and helps provide us with the ability to have good mental health, physical health, quality of life and to stay safe. Quality sleep helps the brain function at its best and assists in our ability to have good relationships. To know if you are dealing with a sleep disorder that is negatively impacting your life, give Desert Oasis Clinic a call at 702-310-9350, to schedule a consultation appointment. At your appointment you will discuss which of the natural and holistic treatments such as Bio-Identical Hormones,  Lymphatic Stimulation With The ST-8, or Osteopathic Manipulation (OMT) may work best for you!

Posted in: Health Tips